Kirkuk Asayesh, security forces, arrested five ISIS suspects. Photo: Kirkuk Asayesh
KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region – Kirkuk security forces have arrested five suspected terrorists from Hawija, a security official said.
The five were arrested in a “search and inspection operation,” Farhad Hama Ali, spokesperson for Kirkuk Asayesh, told Rudaw on Monday.
“These terrorists are wanted by Kirkuk’s investigation court,” he detailed. “Some of these terrorists were ISIS militants and had a role in a number of terrorist activities, and the others were ISIS sleeper cells giving information to terrorists.”
ISIS retains control of Hawija and surrounding areas. A military operation against the extremist group in the area has been repeatedly postponed.
Kurdish and Peshmerga officials have warned that the continued delay poses a threat to Kirkuk’s security. ISIS has carried out regular attacks on Peshmerga frontlines in the area and militants have infiltrated the city among displaced civilians. Kurds fear that operations in Tal Afar and Anbar may be prioritized over Hawija.
The military operation, when it does get underway, will likely include forces from the Peshmerga, Iraqi army, and Hashd al-Shaabi.